Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” This quote is famous because it highlights the psychological impacts of our thoughts and beliefs. Essentially, we may have the abilities necessary to attain a goal, but if we don’t actually believe that we have them, we won’t be able to use those abilities to their fullest extent to achieve our goals. The critical success factor at play is our confidence level which is the most significant psychological contributor to our performance in the business world.
Whether you’re interviewing for your dream job; pitching to a new prospect; asking for a raise or making your first presentation to a large audience, follow these three steps to elevate your confidence level.
- Develop optimism. The more we allow negative messages to enter our thoughts, the more truthful they appear. Declaring “I’ll never be able to do this!” is actually telling your psyche that you cannot accomplish something, even though you probably can. Negativity demotivates us. By surrounding ourselves with positive energy and having positive thoughts, a better outcome becomes possible.
Repel negative thoughts by telling yourself positive, powerful messages that reaffirm your success and worth. This tactic aligns with Dale Carnegie’s principle, ‘Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.’ Choose a mantra to repeat to yourself to fight feelings of being an insecure imposter or inept at something. Be optimistic by repeating to yourself, “I’ve got this,” or “I believe it and will achieve it,” to witness how these mantras can boost your self-confidence.
- Take a chance. Fear and confidence cannot co-exist because they are opposites. Many people stay in their comfort zones because they fear failure or lack confidence. In doing so, however, they compromise their ultimate potential. Without daring to try new things, progress and growth are impossible. Being open to new technology, fresh ideas and environments, and even new thoughts propel both our personal and professional growth.
Dale Carnegie said, “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.” By stepping outside of your comfort zone to, ‘Throw down a challenge,’which is his 21st Human Relations principle, you will develop the confidence to accomplish what you once deemed impossible.
- Envision your success. By establishing clear objectives and having a concise vision, you can increase your self-confidence. For example, if you are worried about speaking to a large audience, create three main objectives. For example, “Engage the audience to reinforce learning,” is an appropriate objective. Now picture yourself engaging the audience and think about what you’re doing. Are you asking people questions or to raise their hand if they’ve experienced something before? Whatever you want the outcome to be, envision yourself doing it confidently and achieving your objectives.